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Conversation with the Duo Rubin, Anis and Dagmar Schmidt
about the Benefice Tour "Shalom-Salam" for the benefit of Givat Haviva
Program: "Zeitpunkte" on May 23, 2004, 05.05-06.00 p.m.
Editor: Birgit Ludwig, Host: Gesine Strempel, Technician: Annette Kruschke
Intro music: "Schlittenfahrt" ("Sled") by Jaques Offenbach (Duorubin)|
GS: ...and at the microphone welcoming you today is Gesine Strempel. Day by day new terrifying news about worldwide violence, day by day news from the conflict between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and again and again new suicide and killing assaults in Israel. The confrontations between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinians have been escalating in the last days in the Gaza Strip. Therefore the subject of the "Zeitpunkte" today is of sad current significance. "Shalom-Salam" is the name of the benefice tour under the patronage of Johannes Rau, it is on stage at the moment in German cities. A beneficiary tour for the benefit of the Jewish Arab peace center Givat Haviva. We will introduce the Duo Rubin for you, they are Ithay Khen and Gabriella Gonda-Khen, and the essayist Anis Hamadeh as well as the legislator Dagmar Schmidt, four people who are working with the means of art and of politics for the peace between Jews and Palestinians, against hate and violence, for the mutual understanding of the peoples. No war lasts forever, they say, peace must grow bottom-up. We invest in the future.
(Musical contribution: "Schlittenfahrt")
GS: This was the Duo Rubin with the "Sled" by Jaques Offenbach, Cello: Ithay Khen, Piano: Gabriella Gonda-Khen. "Who has no power for dreaming has no power for living", wrote Ernst Toller, German playwright and pacifist, who exactly 65 years ago died in the New York exile. "Shalom-Salam", the Hebrew and the Arabic words for "peace", form the title of your benefice tour through Germany. On May 26 it will end in Berlin. How did the engagement for Givat Haviva, the Jewish Arab peace center in Israel, about the work of which we have already reported in the "Zeitpunkte", come about? And the question at first is for the Duo Rubin, for Ithay Khen and Gabriella Gonda-Khen. Ithay Khen is a decorated Israeli cellist, scholarship holder of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and his wife Gabriella Gonda is also decorated with awards and she is a pianist. So how did you get to this project? What has motivated you, as it were?
GGK: In 2000 we visited Israel. We go there every year... On this morning we did not hear the news. We did not turn on the radio and we rode through a valley which is called Vadi Ara. Suddenly we saw utterly frightening pictures. We found ourselves in a situation in which - one could say - we were afraid for our lives. And we saw shattered cars, burnt-out car-tyres, pulled-out traffic lights, and it was a shocking picture. When you live in Germany and only watch the news and don't experience it yourself, what it means to be in a war situation, then maybe you cannot really understand how burning this problem is in Israel. You know, these pictures have so much shocked us... That even the Israeli Arabs have expressed (their solidarity) to the Palestinians... that there is something not in order. Something must be done. We came back to Berlin and we had the feeling: what is going on here? The politicians negotiate and negotiate, but the civil population is suffering, on both sides. And we artists, what can we as artists do to help in this suffering? In Berlin we made a big research, phone calls, writing letters, asking friends... We asked a number of questions: where is such an institution where we can help? Our friend from the Jewish High School, Ms. Otterbach, helped us along. She said: there is such an institution, it is called Givat Haviva, where both peoples have the opportunity to make each other's acquaintance, to overcome their prejudice, to smell and touch each other, and there was one project which has specifically moved us: "Children Teach Children", because we have a son ourselves, Giora, and this has really moved us that in children there is a chance to overcome prejudice, in the education. So there is a future. And this is how we got to Givat Haviva.
GS: This was Gabriella Gonda-Khen, the pianist, she comes from Hungary, now lives in Berlin and is married to the Israeli Ithay Khen. And you, have you supported the idea right away, that urgently something has to be done for the mutual understanding of these two groups?
IK: Of course. We did that together, the whole research and afterwards also the contact with Anis Hamadeh and with Givat Haviva. In this thing we were both active in the same way and also enthusiastic about the idea that you can really do something yourself.
GS: And how did you meet the two now, Anis Hamadeh?
AH: Ithay and Gabriella found me via internet, my homepage, because I am very active, too, and know several people by way of the internet. I thought about the idea and soon thought, if it is for peace and the children... and as Ithay had also read my critical texts on the subject I joined them. I am very happy and glad about it now as in the course of the time we spent together I learnt more about them and our relationship actually has developed increasingly hearty...
GS: You have been on tour since the ninth of May...
AH: We have been on the road together for a while, that's right. On the other hand I sometimes also sense a deep inner strife, especially now in the past days there have been terrible things going on in Gaza and in Rafah most of all. Forty up to fifty dead is what they say, and this really shakes me and it is always present.
GS: Do tell us something about your roots, Anis.
AH: My father comes from a small town near Jenin in the Westbank. I myself was born in Germany, in Hamburg. My mother originally is from East Prussia. My parents met in Germany and I have studied Islamic Studies and increasingly have dealt with the subject as an artist, too. Once I also was Arabic teacher at the University of Kiel, but now I am mainly active in this border area between journalism, art and politics.
GS: Thank you so far, Anis. The conflicts between the three of you on stage maybe, and the tensions which spring from that, also from the current political situation, this is something I would want to talk about later on. Now I would like to ask Dagmar Schmidt to introduce herself. She is a politician from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), she is engaged for Israel, for the Middle East, she is a member of the German Israeli Society, she is chairwoman of Givat Haviva Germany and she is speaker of the Israel Discussion Circle in her parliamentary party. How does this engagement come about, Ms. Schmidt?
DS: Maybe it was an accidence, maybe also it was a providence, I don't know. In any case there were some key experiences which let me stay with this issue, with these two countries, and maybe I can name these key experiences: the first was when we had a meeting in the Gaza Strip together with the former chairman of the parliamentary party, Rudolf Scharping, and an Auschwitz survivor, Max Mannheimer, who today lives in Bavaria, said to the Palestinians there: "I wish you all the freedom which you wish and you may believe me: I know what freedom is." At that I felt a cold shiver running down my spine. It was, at any rate, a significant journey, because we had talks with Rabin, two days before he was killed, and then two days later in Germany I heard about this terrible murder. And fact is, afterwards I had been an election observer in the Gaza Strip, in Khan Yunis, and I experienced the Palestinians as human beings who really have voted with a huge pleasure of anticipation of "Now it is starting" and "Now this state will come into being", and with dignity they stood in rows and waited until finally they could vote with their crosses... And I also would like to fully engage in that this mutual understanding from human to human also takes place in those times when dialogues do not seem to be possible anymore.
GS: You also are chairwoman of Givat Haviva Germany. Please tell us in short what kind of center this is. Now, I don't mean single projects, but Givat Haviva as such.
DS: In short this is hardly possible, but the center has next to the historical awareness and the analysis of Jewish resistance given itself a name which springs from the kibbuz movement, and that is the name "Givat Haviva", which means as much as "Hill of Haviva". Haviva is a women's name, and this woman, Haviva Reik, was a resistance fighter who in front of the enemy lines had let herself be dropped with a parachute and tried to support the partisan fighters in this way. Later she got arrested and killed, murdered by the Nazis. In rememberance of this courageous, great woman this center gave itself the name. Yet today in the first place they work for a mutual understanding between the two ethnic groups.
Musical contribution: Arabic song "Ya 'Uud" by Amal Murkus
GS: This was Amal Murkus singing about the Ud. Amal Murkus works together with Palestinian and Israeli musicians in Israel. My guests in the studio are the Duo Rubin, Ithay Khen, decorated Israeli cellist and scholarship holder - I said that before - of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Gabriella Gonda-Khen, Dagmar Schmidt from the SPD and Anis Hamadeh. And Anis, you I would like to ask... as you are here in your capacity as an essayist, a poet, absolver of Islamic Studies, born in Germany, mother originally from East Prussia, father from the West Jordan Land... You I would like to ask: what is an Ud, the thing which Amal Murkus just sang about?
AH: The Ud is an old Arabian lute instrument, and the word "lute" (in German "Laute") is derived from the Arabic "al-Ud", the "l" being included in the new German word, so it is a forerunner of the guitar, basically, with the typical melon belly and it is very popular in the Orient, not only in the Arab cultures, but also in the Orient in general.
GS: Let us talk about the project now which you are in the middle of right now, the beneficiary tour for Givat Haviva, "Shalom-Salam", and I would like to know what is going on on stage when you appear. What are you doing, for example? Well, I mean music is international - we all think we understand music -, but concerning the words this is a bit more difficult.
AH: Right, but it is also a good combination, when you have something without words, which conveys a lot of feeling, on the one hand, and on the other hand verbal contributions which show the same thing again, on another level. I read from different books, two books, two and a half, maybe, for one thing from my poetry album "Loving Jay. A Timeless Story", I read a couple of pieces from that which partly also are enriched musically by the Duo Rubin, and I also read from the book "We Both Want to Live Here. A Difficult Friendship in Jerusalem" edited by Sylke Tempel, by Odelia Ainbinder and Amal Rifai, appeared last year in the Rowohlt Berlin Publishing House, dialogues between an Israeli and a Palestinian.
GS: Could you read something for us?
AH: I would like to recite a tiny poem from "Loving Jay", maybe, which might be better for the radio purpose than a longer text, would, anyway, like to mention before that at the end (of the stage appearances) I also play one of my songs together with Ithay, who accompanies me on the cello, while I play guitar, because I am also a songwriter. And the short poem, which normally is well-received on stage, is called: "Kinds of Love". It is a three-line-poem and it goes like this: "To rule wants human love. To heal wants divine love. Kings we are, with wings of dust."
GS: How do you know whether something is well-received when you are on stage? What does the audience convey to you?
AH: Normally one can sense this, it does not even always need the applause, there is a kind of connexion to the audience. Sometimes, like in Leipzig, we even had standing ovations, at the end, in other cases, like in Oldenburg, people were a bit more reserved. There had obviously been a distance. But generally we are receiving very good feedback, both that we feel it and that people tell us afterwards. There are a lot of cordialities and many friendly faces looking at us.
GGK: I would like to add that our feeling shows that this, actually, is a subject which is interesting for everybody, only that somebody has to start and take the initiative. In each audience, no matter whether seniors or juniors, we sensed a good deal of engagement, that we have shown them a way. And they now try to think about how they themselves can further promote this thing. Also that they had stood up after the concert... the whole audience, this of course for us artists was an unbelievably touching and very exciting moment... when we saw, the audience is standing up, applauds, and this is not only for our art, but for the whole humanity. This is something exquisitely beautiful.
GS: So you are saying that a longing for peace is being expressed there which you are giving wings to, kind of like in the poem by Anis Hamadeh?
GGK: Yeah, right. Exactly.
GS: Which music do you play? Are you exclusively playing classical music?
IK: No, in the first half we also play a piece of an Arab composer, by Alberto Hemsi, "Meditation", and also two songs without words by Paul Ben Chaim, who is an Israeli composer, and this is to symbolize how similar the music on both sides is, on the Arab and on the Israeli, meaning that we try to convey something of this mood from the outside, yet we do not stay there long.
GS: So let us listen to some of this music...
Musical contribution: "Sepharadic Melody" by Paul Ben Chaim
GS: What was this title?
IK: This was the "Sepharadic Melody" by Paul Ben Chaim, Israeli composer, and we also play this in our program, but as I said: we don't only play Arab and Israeli composers, but in the second half we mostly play classical works. What we wanted to present was that it is possible that Israeli and Palestinian artists can do something together on stage and it does not necessarily have to be connected with the clumsiness of the Middle East conflict. It could simply be highlights from classical music or the beautiful poems, the poetry of Anis Hamadeh, or other things.
GS: Does anybody want to add anything?
GGK: We play classical highlights, and this is meant for a broader audience, we also took low entrance fees for this concert, because we want a lot of people to come to the concert in Berlin. The classical pieces are meant for many people who might not listen to classical music every day, for example Paganini or Monti: Csardas, or Piazzolla: The Great Tango...
GS: But also Arab and Israeli composers. This is a kind of music which is meant to fascinate, to motivate listening and thinking. And it is also to motivate donations, so that the purchase of a ticket is money which is connected to a specific project, that is the net profit of the concerts you are conducting now, for Givat Haviva and the projects which come into being there, or came into being already and which are to be continued. And for this reason I want to ask Dagmar Schmidt now about what kind of projects these are. Dagmar Schmidt as the chairwoman of Givat Haviva Germany, SPD member of Parliament:
DS: Yes thank you very much. First of all I would really like to thank these young people that they have all this engagement, and that especially Gabriella so resolutely has brought this idea forward and continued despite all difficulties and that she is doing all this. We found a sponsor, well, they found him themselves...
GGK: Right. If I am allowed to say a very short word to our sponsor, this is necessary in this place, because certainly we have received a lot of refusals, too, while we were looking for sponsors. But DaimlerChrysler Services... and our very special thanks goes to our mentor Schlomo Ben Hur, who completely, a hundred percent, or a thousand percent, has promoted the cause and he said: with your art you can move so many people. And I am so much for this peace between the two peoples that I support your project. He has made it possible that this tour could happen at all and again many thanks to him.
GS: This is always important, to have friends who make donations, who support, patronages, which today is called sponsoring, is very very important. And Givat Haviva does also live by patronages, from sponsoring, and this is why Dagmar Schmidt is so important in this circle, because she as a politician can move something.
DS: Unfortunately, Givat Haviva almost entirely subsists on that, and therefore it is especially important in these times that people do not resign, but that they maybe leave something there beyond the entrance fee as a donation. For one thing in order to support this great idea - we hope that we can bring about further concerts, that means, we are also looking for sponsors for further concerts, another series... Because these projects are immensely important. Especially this "Children Teach Children". Everybody knows that the socialisation of infants is the most significant one, and I would actually like to start renaming this project "Children Teach Children". These children, who taught each other, should now start to go and teach the adults.
GS: What is going on in "Children Teach Children"? Do tell us more about the project, about this communication center Givat Haviva. It is a center in the Sharon area, in ...(?) ... between Haifa and Tel Aviv, rather close to the border.
DS: Yes, we have met children there ourselves during a short visit... Apart from this there is hardly any possibility for the Arab Israelis and the Jewish Israelis to go into the families of the respective other. They live their lives, but they do it separately. And here in this communication center the children come together. They experience that they have the same troubles, that they are angry about the same things. This has also led to another project, a newspaper project by young people. They work in the artistic field, they cooperate in many areas and realize: we are, in the end, not so alien to each other, but in many human encounters we have the same reasons for being angry, the same reasons for being happy, and children are much better in coping with these things than grown-ups.
GS: "Children Teach Children", is this a kind of superposed concept or is it one specific project?
DS: They are new projects generated again and again, wherever children are brought together, school classes, sometimes even voluntarily, in the afternoons, at the weekends... Adolescents, I mean somewhat grown children....
GS: In the "Zeitpunkte" we have reported about a project of Givat Haviva's before, that was called "With the Eyes of the Other". In it, each child got a camera into the hand and people also showed them, in case they did not know it before, how to work with a camera. Such a thing of course also costs money. Are such projects still demanded? This was really bizarre: they just went into the house of the other and open the door of the fridge and take pictures of the inside of the fridge, they enter the bathroom, they enter the living-room, they watch out for the kinds of sweets which are there... But this is something that has to be paid for, such cameras and such initiatives.
DS: You are as curious with a camera as you are without one, but the camera provides a certain kind of protection. One is not so directly the voyeur and observes and watches and has a distance. And afterwards there is a discussion about the pictures. And people suddenly realize: Ah look-a-there, the other does have an interest in me, because he or she has photographed this and that, well why? People talk about it. People overcome their clichès. Especially these projects have largely impressed me, also when at one point we saw the photo exhibition on the spot ourselves. Meanwhile there is a touring exhibition also in Germany, which travels through several cities... This attempt, to motivate people via this medium of photography, to also talk about the things they saw and to lose their inhibitions and take a closer look, this has been successfull with the camera. And children suddenly have the opportunity - or youth also - to reduce these very typifications: Israelis are not always the soldiers with the Uzis, and Palestinians are not always the terrorists with the belt of bombs around their bellies, but there are indeed parallels in young people, in the sentiment, in life, and a curiosity to know more about the respective other.
GS: Now it is one thing to reduce prejudices here and to refer to Givat Haviva, and another thing to do this in the country itself, in Israel. How difficult is that?
DS: This is getting increasingly difficult, also because the part which had been coming in from governmental support by the governmental offices, this has almost stopped. Also, there is a continuous up and down. There always are highlights and valleys in the work of Givat Haviva, and despite all this, despite the valleys also, where one says to oneself: isn't everything useless, anyway? Because, right now when you listen to the current news it could be that people tend to resign again. But the fact that here people like tumbler-dolls are ready again and again to say: now more than ever! And: we have to carry on with this issue. We are the ones who know how to change the situation in a long-lasting and sound way, by starting with the people who promote the dialogue, by supporting meetings, and not by isolation and insulation and no meetings and speechlessness.
GS: Next to you, that is next to Dagmar Schmidt, sits Anis Hamadeh, and I look at him and he looks half sceptically, half warmly nicely in agreement. What is this doubt that I perceive in you?
AH: You did ask yourself in the beginning: what about the will for peace and the possibilities in Israel/Palestine on the spot. And there I also thought about what my opinion is... I think that... in the end, no war has lasted forever, and one day there will be peace, and we have to provide such patterns, to show there are these kinds of cooperations, because one day this will happen (broadly). Yet, on the other hand I am also concerned myself, because I have relatives there and devote a lot of time to it... And I can also see that the current political situation is not exactly beautiful to promote the dialogue.
GS: We will soon continue. How can we overcome the difficulties? How can we find the way to peace? How can we invest into the future in our work, in our engagement? For now we will listen to Timna Brauer with "We shall Overcome", where she beautifully mixes this peace song "We shall Overcome" with John Lennon, we will hear a live recording with her choir "Voices for Peace", live in Vienna in 1999.
Musical contribution: "We shall Overcome" by Timna Brauer
GS: This was Timna Brauer with her live appearance in Vienna, "Voices for Peace", in 1999. We are talking here about the beneficiary concert "Shalom-Salam". Three artists of very different descent stand on stage together and sing and recite for Givat Haviva, the peace center in Israel. Artists of very different descent - I already said that - Hungary, Israel, Germany, and German Palestinian background. Three artists on a concert stage... And how do you convey Givat Haviva to the audience at all?
IK: Our program starts with a documentary excerpt from a film by Givat Haviva, "With the Eyes of the Other", and there the project with the cameras is also shown. I think it is rather interesting to see how they visit an Arab family, and then also an Israeli family... And also through the speeches. There are several speeches...
GS: Who holds these speeches?
IK: In Berlin, for example, Ms. Dagmar Schmidt - I hope - will give a speech and also talk a little about the projects, about our common aims...
GGK: And mayors and first mayors and vice mayors, during the whole tour, and we have always found a word for Givat Haviva...
IK: Among other things...
GS: I did not get that. What word did you find for Givat Haviva?
IK: Of course praising words. (laughs)
GS: I see, so you have been able to really stimulate an interest, so that people now know: ah there is this center, there we can make ourselves helpful... be it through money or through activity.
GK: Exactly. And there also is an info table in the break and after the concert and everybody can inform themselves one more time, and on the flyer there also are some words about Givat Haviva.
GS: And you are standing there and give information, or have you disappeared backstage then?
IK: In the break we are present. Everybody can come to us and talk with us. Normally in the classical concert one withdraws and rehearses a couple of details and concentrates, but I think that in this concert it is also very important to have the direct contact with the audience. And if somebody has any questions then he or she should find the suitable answer, too.
GS: Anis Hamadeh, the German Palestinian essayist, absolver of Islamic Studies, once said in a specific context: "We have different history books". What, for example, is the difference between your history book, Anis Hamadeh, and the history book of Ithay Khen, the Israeli?
AH: Well, yes, without going to deeply into the details now, one can say that there are two... (laughs) yeah, you don't want that, either, Ithay...
IK: Nay, not necessarily...
AH: Well, there are a couple of issues where we simply disagree in opinion, and this is not even restricted to Israel or Palestine, but partly is due to our respective understandings of the state, and also what we think what a state may do and must not do. This surely is one of these issues. Another point is the foundation of Israel, for example the subject of expulsions, where we also are not exactly of the same opinion. And having said that there is to add that we also are in a process and we both collect information. Also, I am not a political scientist in this sense, and don't want to be, I rather observe the societies than parties or party political details. There are quite some issues, but it is a process, and we do speak about it regularly and could not do without...
GS: I did not yet exactly understand the conflicts. One you want to escape, the one about the foundation of Israel, how it came about and what it means for the Palestinians, for the Arab population there. This is what you do not want to talk about now. But are there any topical problems, for example?
IK: It is a broad issue and the problem which Anis mentioned above - I assume - is this: there are different narratives and there are details which are minimized or which there is silence about, on both sides, and there are other parts which are maximized, and this is something about which we have great discussions among each other as well. We often discuss things. We travel a lot together, there we also have the time for it. But we can really not get to this in more details now, because this takes too much time.
GGK: We have decided: when we always only dig in the past and try to distribute rights: you are right or I am right... this will not improve the situation. And therefore we have said: we are artists, our means of communication is art, and what we can improve, that basically... well, the future, we are looking into the future and not into the past. But we pose ourselves the question: what can we do for the future? And politics is not our department, as it were... of course, I always enjoy this again, these discussions between the two boys, when we are sitting in the car, but I am very touched on stage when I see the two - for me they symbolize the two peoples - and the big unity and the harmony which they personalize on stage together... And I always think: it is possible. When you spend a lot of time together and when you are also ready to listen to what the other one says, and when you are prepared to improve or to say: let us try now "to forget the forgetting", by Anis, then we have hope for the future at all.
GS: It is remarkable that from all the three artists, who are present here, only one has no German roots, and this is Gabriella who is Hungarian and married to an Israeli and now living here in Germany. All others here have German roots. How is it, when you tell your friends about your engagement, Ithay for example, how is it when you talk in Israel about what you are doing? Do you meet a hundred percent of agreement?
IK: Agreement yes. But the reaction is typical Israeli: they ask me if it would not be dangerous to do such a thing. People immediately think about security, about possible terror... I don't know what... that something could happen to us. This, thank God, is not the case. We do not feel this danger at all.
GGK: We do not even think about the danger, because for us there is no danger. We are supporting a humanitarian cause, and this has nothing to do with politics...
GS: And for you it is dangerous to not be engaged, dangerous for the future of the children. You also have a son.
GGK: Right. Precisely.
AH: I also think it is a matter of responsibility. When you can do something and when you know something, that you should do it. I have met a lot of agreement from my part. My parents were attending the concert in Bocholt and were very enthusiastic about it. Also from the internet community I receive many nice mails, also criticism in parts, from Palestinians who say: yeah, you are doing something for the Israelis and so on, where it also sometimes comes down to quarrels, in the positive sense, to debates. I find that rather constructive. At the same time I have to say that I have written a lot into my diary in this time wich has been very rich in experiences, and I need that, because I realize that surely I can reach something with such concerts or such discussions like this one, but there is still a lot missing. Especially the subject matters which we have mentioned in the end: the official Israel and the Israeli society, for example, as such a problematic case. And I write about all these things. And I do have to talk to Ithay and Gabriella about the way I can make this accessible. But I want this discussion to continue and that art does not remain to be the only thing.
GS: Art should not remain the only thing. Have you any plans already, about what is going to happen after this benefice tour, which will have ended on the 26th in Berlin? You made some allusions... Well, it will not be the foundation of a new party, will it?
IK: Well, I think we should for now master this tour until the end and hopefully this will also bring about something for Givat Haviva. I do believe this is the case. And afterwards we might plan a second round, with this tour, possibly also in other countries.
GS: And in which form can politics support the engagement for Givat Haviva, the engagement for peace between the Jewish and the Palestinian people, Dagmar Schmidt? I mean, beyond a speech at the concert on the 26th.
DS: The political sector can surely not effect a lot with finances in times of low budgets...
GS: Really not?
DS: ...This is to say that we can notice everywhere that the places where the federal countries had supported Givat Haviva, Northrhine-Westfalia, Hessen, Niedersachsen, that the tills there are getting more and more empty and nothing is given anymore, or less. This means we are relying on the support of engaged individuals, associations, companies. What can a company do for peace? It can support this thing, Givat Haviva. So that it gets more known. And one of the really nice supporters also receives the peace prize, this is Mister Barenboim, he will receive the peace prize of Givat Haviva... and I only know that through this the name of this institution will become more popular and people will trust it more. And they know: the money will arrive. It does not get lost on the way or seeps away, nor does it pay an expensive chair counsil... Everybody is doing this voluntarily and they go without high salaries, in this case. And the money arrives and is applied directly on the spot. This is the good thing about it. And I think what is also super is when there are not only reports about this concert, but when you know afterwards: this, what is happening here individually in the small, this is also possible in the big. You can digest history, you can... Every behavior, every dialogue is political in a sense, and when you notice that it is working here and when you develop and reduce prejudice, then this should be possible in the bigger contexts. This surely is, next to the effect of making Givat Haviva more popular and to collect some money, a significant, valuable aspect.
GS: Givat Haviva and the conflict between the Jewish and the Palestinian people also has a lot to do with German history, with the past. Is it so that sometimes people come to you after the concert to say: I have, due to your music or the calm, which you have conveyed to me, or the engagement, suddenly realized that I have to do more, and starts to tell about the past of the parents or the grandparents? Do you learn something about your audience, also in this respect, or never?
IK: Not so much.
AH: Actually yes... sorry but... Well I do have the impression that, when you count all the things together... I did hear a lot, actually... Both directly, that people came up after the concert and... well, maybe not that they...
GS: You mean they don't say: Granny was a Nazi, but ...
AH: Yeah, well, maybe not exactly that people freak out, but it is rather frequent that people are stimulated and start to talk about their own things and what they are doing.
IK: But this is also so in everyday life, this is not special, concerning our tour.
AH: Also, for instance, the fact that we have been often invited before the performances from the side of mayors, this for me also was a nice sign, that the politicians say: yeah, well, actually we also are interested in this and want to know more about it, this I actually found very delightful.
Ithay and Gabriella agreeing
GS: The Zeitpunkte are coming to an end. What is left for me is to point to the final concert, the final concert of "Shalom-Salam", the benefice tour. It takes place in Berlin, on May 26, at Daimler Chrysler's in the Eichhornstraße number 3 on the Potsdamer Platz. Start is at 7 p.m. The 26th is a Wednesday. It is, as I said, a beneficiary performance, this is also why we do not want to give away any free tickets. A ticket costs 15 Euros and less for children and juveniles. But you can also give more money of course, so 15 Euros would be quite OK.
GS: These were the Zeitpunkte on May 23, 2004, editor was Birgit Ludwig who also selected the music. Technician was Annette Kruschke, host at the microphone Gesine Strempel. More music of the Duo Rubin you can find on the CD "On Tour" and I recommend to you the homepage of Anis Hamadeh, www.anis-online.de. And I say a big and warm thank you very much to my guests in the studio, thanks for having come to the studio in the middle of the tour. Thanks, goodbye, lot of success, and you know the proverb: "A bissel und a bissel gibt a volle Schüssel". (A little and a little makes a full bowl) This is a Yiddish proverb which I like very much. Thanks a lot, wish you a lot of success.
AH/IK/GGK: To you, too.